I want to know what organizations are advocating the most for our profession. I work with Physical Therapists and they have APTA. Here is their leadership: http://www.apta.org/BOD/
In contrast, I look at the ACSM leadership and see: http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/who-we-are/leadership
Am I the only one that sees a difference here? Am I wrong in assuming that very few people in the ACSM organization are, or were, practicing exercise physiologists or fitness professionals? What I am really getting at is what organization(s) are helping out our field when it comes to legislation and advocacy? With all these certifying bodies, it isn’t like we can get them all to work together like APTA.
I think that these questions bring up implications with who we become certified by. Do you want your money going to an organization that may or may not have your best interests in mind? What are your thoughts on this and what good are different organizations doing for our profession?
The topic of reimbursement is certainly another completely different debate and could be a lengthy one. For just the purposes of this discussion, I’d like to keep on the topic of fitness organizations. One with our interests in mind might pursue some sort of program that could make reimbursement a possibility. What the actual reimbursement looks like is of little concern until we have an organization strong enough to push it through.
Searching on ACE’s website, I found the Legislative Action Center (http://www.acefitness.org/cp/legislativeac.aspx). Definitely some interesting topics in there, including bills that are currently being considered (https://votervoice.net/ACEFITNESS/Bills). I’m not sure if this is actual legislation that they are trying to push through, or if they are just making people aware of it. In either case, it is an excellent idea.
After looking through a lot of the organizations, ACE seems to be doing the most in terms of recognition for our field. I would love if someone could change my mind about ACSM because I believe that the they have a better certification system in place, with certain certifications that are only obtainable with a degree in the field. That being said, it seems like most, if not all, of the decision makers are professors or doctors. I have yet to find any other professional organization that does not have a high percentage of their board being made up of professionals of that field.
To me, the ideal fitness organization would:
– Represent and advocate for fitness professionals, especially in areas of improving the respect for the profession. Be involved in legislation that will lead to growth of our profession.
– Provide certifications for a variety of levels and different scopes of practice. This might be one place where ACE fails. Their high level certification only requires 300 hours of experience (healthy or high-risk individuals) and has not requirements regarding education. I think “Advanced” certification should require actual experience with high-risk individuals. The higher end certifications should really be more like an online class too and should be difficult. Everyone wants to have the highest end certifications, but you should have to earn them.
– Provide high quality continuing education. Not too much fluff. I think there is a void for practical science. Currently, we either have detailed science presentations with no practical applications, or fun and games without any understanding or basis for what we are actually doing.
– Provide support for small businesses. Often times new business owners need to be advised regarding liability, start-up costs, hiring employees, and more.
Would love to hear other opinions,